Playing host at Thanksgiving is fraught with many challenges, not least of which is stuffing. Everyone has their own particular idea of what ingredients should be involved in a successful stuffing, and Thanksgiving is really all about the stuffing. God forbid you leave out the chestnuts, or throw in some diced apples, it will be your head on a platter covered with cranberry sauce. Better make sure to cover your bases.
You WILL Please Everyone Perfect Get Stuffed Stuffing
You will need:
Two onions, chopped
Four ribs celery, chopped
1/2 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbs. dried sage
1 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried savory
1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 stick butter
14 oz. jar chestnuts
2 soy sausages, such as Field Roast Apple Sage
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped
Cube the bread. This is very important, as you absolutely must include some cornbread for Aunt Betsy who is from Iowa and will be mortally offended if there is not corn in every dish on the buffet. Also use other breads, such as whole wheat, sourdough, french and a touch of pumpernickel for diversity. Toast the bread in the oven until it is as dried out as Grandma. You should have six cups of bread cubes.
Melt butter in a large skillet and add onions, celery, mushrooms and herbs. Remember that your cousin Fred married that girl who mentioned her mother puts oysters in her stuffing, and decide you're okay with her not speaking to you. Cook vegetables until they are soft and the house smells like Thanksgiving. Chop the chestnuts into small enough pieces that your brother won't recognize them, but your mother-in-law will wax rhapsodic about her youth in the Lake District.
Mix the vegetables with the bread, and chop and fry your sausage. It is important to use soy sausage as the stuffing will be pretty much the only thing your sister and her vegetarian family from Vermont will be able to eat. Do not omit the sausage, as weird Uncle Tommy, who has finally emerged from the basement after all these years, will turn right around if there isn't some porky thing involved here. Any vegans can suck it. Saute the apple with the sausage, and then add it to the other things. Pour on vegetable stock, parsley and mix it all together, trying not to eat it all yourself before your guests arrive.
Spread into a greased 13x9 baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes, before dumping it on the buffet and screaming, "THERE YOU GO! ARE YOU HAPPY NOW? ARE YOU? OH GOOD. I'M SO GLAD. I'M SO THANKFUL THAT YOU'RE HAPPY." Go to basement and help yourself to Uncle Tommy's secret moonshine stash. Don't come out until Monday.